Child Poverty Collaborative seeking new executive director

Goal is to lift 5,000 families out of poverty

CINCINNATI -- The local group working to reduce childhood poverty in Cincinnati and Hamilton County is looking for a new leader.

The Child Poverty Collaborative announced Tuesday that the organization will begin a regional search for a new executive director.

Lynn Marmer, a retired Kroger Co. executive, has been executive director since late 2015, when the Child Poverty Collaborative's co-chairs recruited her to lead the effort.

The group's goal is to help move 5,000 families, including 10,000 children, out of poverty in five years.

"We are grateful to Lynn for her strong and compassionate leadership that brought us to this important milestone," Child Poverty Collaborative Co-chair Donna Jones Baker said in a news release. "Although there is a lot ahead of us, we are pleased with our progress to date."

Over the past 18 months, the collaborative created a steering committee of community leaders, held more than 80 community conversations in neighborhoods and included families living in poverty and commissioned and analyzed community research.

In October 2016, the group announced five commitments:

  • To launch One to One, a program that aims to work with families that want to move out of poverty.
  • To convene an Employer Roundtable that focuses on policies and practices that can create upward mobility for low-wage workers and address businesses' human resources challenges.
  • To build community support for policy changes to better address the needs of families as they find their pathways out of poverty.
  • To support a new direction for the United Way of Greater Cincinnati that focuses more more helping families in poverty.
  • To serve as a community convener to address systemic causes of poverty.

Baker and Tom Williams are heading the search process. Both are among the Child Poverty Collaborative's six co-chairs. Baker is CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, and Williams is CEO of North American Properties.

"Even as the work exceeded original expectations, in terms of complexity and time," Williams said in the release, "Lynn remained committed to co-designing with the community, strategic action plans and building the partnerships needed to change lives. This transition was planned from the beginning as we knew the next phase of the work of the CPS would require a small, paid, full-time staff to lead and accelerate implementation."

After the new executive director gets hired and settled, Marmer will continue serve as a senior advisor to the group and a member of the collaborative's steering committee.

The other co-chairs of the Child Poverty Collaborative are: Mayor John Cranley; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center CEO Michael Fisher; Dr. O'dell Owens, CEO of Interact for Health; and Sister Sally Duffy, president of the SC Ministry Foundation.

The job description will be posted soon on the collaborative's website.

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